With overnight temperatures expected to drop below freezing over the next few weeks, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) reminded residents to turn off all sprinkler systems on automatic timers to avoid the development of black ice on area roadways. GDOT says that there are many accidents caused each year due to icy spots on roadways caused by water spread by automatic sprinklers.

About Black Ice
Black ice is a think, often invisible sheet of ice that coats roadways. It is most common on bridges and overpasses as well as low lying areas. Whenever temperatures drop below freezing, there is a risk of black ice forming when any moisture is present, especially when sprinkler heads are located close to roadways. In Georgia, black ice is actually more common than snowfall and is a common contributor to vehicle accidents throughout the state. Often, drivers are unaware they are traveling on an icy roadway as a roadway coated in black ice often just appears wet.

Other Cold Weather Tips
When the weather is extremely cold and damp, avoid driving at night as black ice may be more visible during daylight hours. When approaching a GDOT vehicle spreading salt or sand, do not pass as the substances being spread on the roadway could kick up and shatter your windshield. Instead, follow at least 100 feet behind the vehicle. Slow down to at least half the posted speed limit and use low gear to gain better traction. Be aware that ice coating branches of trees may lead them to fall, blocking roadways. Power lines may also be affected, causing power outages. When approaching an intersection during a power outage that has caused a traffic light to stop working, treat the intersection as if it has a four-way stop sign.

Other Icy Road Precautions
Statistics indicate that one of the biggest factors in accidents on icy roads is overconfidence in either driving ability or safety equipment installed in the vehicle, such as stability control or antilock brakes. Too often, drivers who have experience driving in winter weather feel they can continue at or above the speed limit due to that experience. The fact is that even an experienced driver can be taken by surprise when their car slides on icy roadways, especially black ice that they didn’t see before they began to slide. Therefore, even if you are from an area where icy roads are common, slowing down is the best way to prevent an accident and to recover from a slide should one occur.

Waggoner Insurance wants you to be safe while traveling on the roadways around Smyrna and throughout Georgia. Should an accident happen, we are here to guide you through the insurance process and help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Contact us online or by phone today to learn how we can help you with all your home, auto, health and life insurance needs, protecting your family should tragedy occur.